This pizza pasta is made in ONE pan, with SIX ingredients, in TWENTY minutes. I mean, really, does it get any better than that? And it’s nutritious and filling!
Why you’ll love it: Everyone loves pizza, this recipe is a breeze to make, and only one pan to wash!
How long it takes: just 20 minutes, start to finish!
Equipment you’ll need: a large pan
It’s no secret at all that I cannot get enough of one pan meals and one pan pasta recipes like this one. I’m always brainstorming the next one for you guys and this one is so fun. I mean, it’s obviously fun because you only have to wash one pan.
That’s a given. But also, it’s pizza themed! That’s always a win. It’s not my first rodeo with creating pizza recipes that aren’t pizza. I wanted to grab some links to pizza-themed recipes for you and it turns out I’m even more obsessed than I thought. I guess that’s what happens when you’ve been creating recipes for 10 years. Here are some great recipes to choose from: grilled pizza quesadillas, one pan, five ingredient pizza chicken, pizza sliders, pizza chicken tenders, pepperoni pizza quinoa stuffed peppers, zucchini pizza bites, parmesan crusted pepperoni pizza grilled cheese, pizza mac and cheese muffins, pepperoni pizza dip, pepperoni pizza lasagna rolls, pepperoni pizza tortilla pinwheels, and white pizza frittata.
Good grief, now that we got that out of the way, please point me to the nearest pizza support group because I think I might have a problem. If you’re still here and didn’t get pulled away to another one of those recipes (if you did, I hope it was the pizza sliders because they are amaaaaazing), let’s talk a little about this pizza pasta.
About this Pizza Pasta
Pizza gets a bad rap for being kinda sorta not the healthiest. Well, that may be true (but may I add, 100% worth indulging in), so I set out to make this pasta a little more nutritious.
How? Whole wheat pasta adds lots of good whole grains and few handfuls of green leafy spinach (because I put spinach in nearly everything) adds veggie power.
You only need SIX ingredients for this recipe and it takes about 20 minutes. This is a weeknight winner. My family loved it!
I’ll get you started on the recipe here and give you lots of extra tips. Look for the printable recipe card near the end of the post. It has complete directions and nutrition information.
What You’ll Need
- Uncooked Pasta: Use whole wheat pasta for extra fiber and nutrition. Gluten-free pasta is fine, too. Really, any type of pasta will work, from macaroni to noodles to spaghetti. Use what’s in your pantry.
- Canned Pizza Sauce: If you’d rather make homemade, go for it! I like this recipe for pizza sauce. Marinara or spaghetti sauce works just great if that’s what you have.
- Canned Petite Diced Tomatoes: Look for the low/no sodium variety. Don’t happen to have the petite tomatoes? Use regular diced tomatoes.
- Sliced Pepperoni: It doesn’t take a lot of pepperoni to add lots of flavor. If you have mini pepperoni, you won’t even have to chop it. Omit it for a vegetarian dish.
- Spinach: Dark green leafy spinach adds so much nutrition and cooks really quickly. Other types of greens can be substituted but may require a bit more cooking time.
- Mozzarella Cheese: Melty stringy cheese really makes this pasta dish feel like pizza.
How To Make This Recipe
You’ll need a big skillet with a lid. If you don’t have a large enough skillet, a Dutch oven or something similar works well too.
Begin by combining the pizza sauce, tomatoes, 2 cups of water, and pepperoni in the pan. Over high heat, bring the mixture to a boil.
Stir in the uncooked pasta, making sure it’s entirely covered by liquid. Reduce the heat and cover the pan. Cook the pasta for 8-10 minutes or however long the package directs. Length of cooking time depends on which type of pasta you choose.
Stir the pasta a couple of times, making sure there’s enough liquid and it isn’t sticking to the bottom. Add more water if necessary or reduce the heat.
When the pasta is al dente, take the pan off the heat and stir in the spinach leaves. Cover the pan and wait a minute or two. The spinach will wilt almost instantly once it hits the hot pasta.
Stir in a cup of shredded cheese.
If you want a nice fancy topping, sprinkle on additional cheese and a layer of pepperoni and stick the pan under the broiler for a few minutes to melt the cheese.
If you’re in a big rush or feeling a bit lazy, just omit that step. This pasta is absolutely delicious either way.
Garnish with fresh chopped basil or parsley, if you like. Fresh herbs add flavor and color to the finished dish but aren’t totally necessary either.
What to serve with This Pasta
Warm crusty bread and bread dipping oil give a restaurant vibe. Add a fresh green salad with homemade healthy Ranch Dressing or homemade Italian Dressing. Pizza pasta is delicious with these amazing looking copycat Olive Garden breadsticks from Handle the Heat.
Almost any kind of pasta will work. Just follow the directions on the recipe so you know how much liquid to add. Follow directions on the pasta package for how long to cook the pasta.
For sure! Pizza sauce is basically the same as marinara sauce, with tomatoes, herbs, garlic, and onions. They can be pretty interchangeable. If you like the taste of your pizza sauce, feel free to use it on pasta, sandwiches, or meatball subs and vice versa.
If you look in your pantry and find only tomato sauce, go ahead and use that instead. However, before adding it to your pizza or this pasta dish, enhance the plain tomato sauce with some Italian seasoning: 1 teaspoon of garlic powder and onion powder, a teaspoon each dried oregano and basil, a pinch of red pepper flakes, and a teaspoon of brown sugar.
Make It Your Own
As with many of my recipes, you can make this one your own! Here are some of my ideas:
- Add more veggies. I feel like that’s always one of my ideas, but it’s a good one! Try sautéing some mushrooms, green peppers or red peppers, and/or onions in a little olive oil before you bring the tomatoes and water to a boil. Remove them from the pan and stir them in at the end if you like the veggies to maintain a little crispness, or leave them in the entire cooking time if you prefer them softer.
- Turn this into a pasta bake! Bake it right away or freeze it for a later time. Bake at 350ºF for 30 minutes if baking right away, or bake for about an hour if frozen. Be careful with frozen glass pans and hot ovens! The best method? Defrost the frozen casserole in the fridge overnight.
- Make it extra cheesy. I don’t blame you! Try adding fresh mozzarella slices on top, or stirring in ricotta cheese.
- Make it vegetarian! Leave out the pepperoni. If you do this, try amping up the vegetables like I mentioned above.
- Make it supreme. Brown Italian sausage or ground beef/turkey in the pan before adding the rest of the ingredients. Stir in black or green sliced olives at the end, whatever you love on your supreme pizza!
- Or try a different one pot pasta, like this delicious smoky Pasta Amatriciana or Creamy Chicken Spaghetti.
Storage & Reheating Tips
Pizza pasta is really great leftover. Store it in the refrigerator in a tightly covered container for up to 4 days or freeze it up to three months in a freezer-safe container. Before reheating, thaw frozen pasta overnight in the fridge for best results.
To reheat, put into skillet or saucepan and reheat on the stove. You can also microwave it if you like. Keep reading if you want to make a pasta bake.
If you have a lot of leftover pizza pasta, make it into a casserole. Put the leftovers into a greased baking dish, top with additional shredded cheese and pepperoni, and bake at 350°F for twenty minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the casserole is heated through.
Hint: If you happen to have leftover cooked pasta from another recipe, try this Pizza Baked Pasta. It’s super easy to make and is always a hit.
- 1 jar (16 oz.) pizza sauce
- 1 can (14.5 oz.) petite diced tomatoes, undrained
- 2 cups water
- ½ cup chopped pepperoni, extra if desired for topping
- 3 cups uncooked whole wheat rotini
- 5 ounces fresh baby spinach, roughly chopped
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, extra if desired for topping
- Fresh parsley or basil for optional garnish
- In a large skillet with a cover, combine pizza sauce, diced tomatoes, water, and pepperoni.
- Over high heat, bring to a boil, add pasta, reduce heat to medium or medium-high (low boil), and cover. Cook covered for 8-10 minutes (using pasta directions as a guide) or until al dente, stirring occasionally to make sure all pasta gets cooked evenly.
- In the last 1-2 minutes of cooking, add spinach and cover. When wilted, stir into pasta.
- Reduce heat to low and stir in shredded cheese, until melted.
- If desired, add extra cheese and pepperoni to top and broil under high heat until bubbling and golden brown.
- Garnish if desired with fresh parsley or basil.
- Vegetable add-ins: mushrooms, bell peppers, or onions. Saute in skillet first, remove to a plate, and continue with recipe. Add sauteed vegetables to the pasta with the cheese.
- More add-in ideas: cooked sausage, cooked ham, olives, pepperoncini, etc.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.